You are born each spring
as the ice acquiesces to the sun.
For weeks, maybe a month
you are as smooth and
pure as new skin.
Adolescence starts in June
when the lily pads start
experimenting with independence, and
suddenly you bloom into fullness
as the reeds tower along your shores
for a time of glory. Continue reading “Lake”
pretend there’s a string
attached to your head,
pulling it toward the ceiling.
roll your shoulders back
enjoy the crunching sound
your shoulder blades make
after a morning of hunching forward.
Continue reading “How To Work”
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Dream Work (Atlantic Monthy Press, 1986)
The world offers itself to your imagination. Your place in it is not set in stone – nor is it something to dread or resign yourself to. There are challenges, yes. Despair is real and familiar to all. But the winter still comes each year, as does the spring, summer and fall. Every dew wet apple blossom, every garden plot filled with creeping flowers and weeds, each crimson leaf, each sparkle in a newly white morning – each nuance of creation offers up a sense of place and rhythm. Know that you have a place in that rhythm. Your own – and you are enough.